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     July 2014        


Released on July 02, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT
Tag #: 670

City in crisis: Systemic problem at City hall

The politics of ‘entitlement’: Eating well on taxpayers’ dime…

Ron Dupuis :  Breach of trust

Sudbury citizens are all working hard to bring meals to their table, while Greater Sudbury`s Councilor and Mayoral Candidate, Ron Dupuis, is not flattering to the city’s image and it is a crying shame. All of the criticism boils down to the politics of ‘entitlement’— the reported financial advantages acquired by the councilor on “incidental expenses.” Dupuis took excessive advantage of his political position over the past decade of his service through the taxpayer’s dime.  The councilors relied on a salary formula tied to the city administration salary grid that increased each year. 

The politics of ‘entitlement’ raised the eyebrows of taxpayers. Are taxpayers expected to foot the bill to feed the councilor? Taxpayers have already paid him to do the job that he is supposed to do in his office. This entitlement and abuse of spending cannot be tolerated any longer.

WikiLeaks Sudbury uncovered that detail concerning Dupuis’ incidental expenses for meals. Dupuis spent $ 1059.83.36 in 2010 (see leaked incidental expense form 01) and $ 835.66  in 2011 (see leaked incidental expense form 02) from tax dollars.  If we look closer at the spending of tax dollars for meals, it is written that he mainly used this money for his breakfast and lunch and on some occasions his dinner as well (see leaked some of the bills submitted for 2010 and 2011). It is puzzling as to why Dupuis claimed his breakfast from tax dollars. Most meetings start at 10:00 AM at City hall. Furthermore on some occasions, Dupuis generously gave tips using tax dollars. Are these meal expenses provided as a political advantage for meeting with his supporters? Or is Dupuis generously providing free meals to his friends at the cost of taxpayers. Taxpayers need to know the answers.   

Sudburians deserve better than what Dupuis is offering. Dupuis needs to prove to Sudburians that they can have confidence in him throughout his term in office. He needs to prove that Sudburians can trust him to govern in the interest of the citizens of Sudbury, not in the interest of preserving his own political dynasty.

Entitlement is the result of the overwhelming advantage that incumbents have over their competition. The playing field also needs to be levelled with “incidental expenses.”  Dupuis already has built-in advantages like the ability to self-promote with city-funded marketing materials.  As the municipal election drags on, there is plenty of time to ask Dupuis the tough questions about the incidental meal expenses. One can be certain that on the ‘hustings’, councilor Dupuis will have a lot of explaining to do. The information above is an example of a systemic problem at City hall that allows for entitlements — the ability to qualify for office interminably. This is clear abuse of tax dollars and must come to end.

Related Documents

Leaked incidental expenses claims  submitted by Dupuis for 2010
Leaked incidental expenses claims submitted by Dupuis for 2011
Leaked some of the restaurant bills submitted by Dupuis for 2010
Leaked some of the restaurant bills submitted by Dupuis for 2011

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Released on July 02, 2014 at 11:30 PM EDT

The original article published on the Journal of Law Economics and Organization. The excerpts from the article as follows. 

Enforcement and Public Corruption: Evidence from the American States

Corruption, defined as the misuse of political and administrative power at the expense of the citizens, remains a problem in both developing and developed democracies. The misuse of public office for private gain takes many forms, from receiving direct payments for illegal acts and political favors to election tampering to enacting legislation or otherwise inappropriately channelling public money to enrich oneself, groups of friends, clients, supporters, or voters. Many studies investigate corruption’s political, cultural, historical, and economic determinants. There is less empirical research on what actually to do to combat it. Researches investigate the effect of increasing enforcement effort, specifically prosecutorial resources, on corruption prosecutions and convictions.

Theories of “system capacity” or “system overload” originating largely in criminology argue that white-collar crimes, including corruption, are insufficiently prosecuted. Whether strain reflects lack of funds for enforcement or career incentives facing prosecutors, system capacity theory suggests how increasing prosecutorial capacity and resources can increase the number of prosecutions and convictions


The publicly employed agent’s decision to take money from corrupt as opposed to legal activities depends at the margin on comparing the consequences of honest behavior with the size of the rents from illegal activities, allowing for the probability of being investigated, detected, charged, convicted, jailed, and expelled from public service. These models of “economic” factors suggest that more enforcement could produce fewer corruption convictions, at least in the long-run perhaps following a short-run increase, as long as a higher probability of enforcement discourages enough public officials from choosing corrupt activities. Naturally, since deterrence effects can exist even in the face of system strain, the net effect of more resources—which effect dominates in practice—depends on factors were discussed below.


A characteristic of corruption, like “victimless” crimes generally, is that it is often unobserved, though not in principle unobservable. Corruption typically takes place as an exchange between individuals who both, or all, would prefer to keep the transaction hidden. The clandestine nature of corruption has meant that most research, in particular that of a cross-national nature, has employed corruption perceptions of experts as key measures. However, some researchers show how relying on perceptions may yield biased estimates of correlates and causes of corruption.

Occasionally, however, details about corruption do surface often as a result of actions by corruption enforcement agencies. As an alternative to corruption perceptions, we employ “observable” data on the number of convictions for corruption in the US judicial system. The number of convictions, normalized by population or the number of public sector employees, is not a neutral measure of the latent corruption, but reflects the zeal, competence, and integrity of police and judiciary, as well as the political priority placed on fighting corruption. At the same time, however, the decision to engage in corruption is affected by all those factors.


Public employees and elected officials engaging in corruption run the risk of being caught. In some countries and time periods, corruption is and has been socially acceptable and a way of life generally proceeding without interference from the law. However, in most developed countries including the United States in the period researchers study, corruption has been recognized as a serious problem and has been a subject of police investigations and prosecution. We consider how enforcement resources affect the costs of engaging in corruption, considering both deterrence and system strain, to specify hypotheses for empirical evaluation. We also examine what determines the allocation of enforcement resources, with the aim of correcting for problems of endogeneity in this allocation, which could, if not addressed, lead to biased estimates of the effects of enforcement on corruption prosecutions. We also briefly discuss two additional hypotheses coming out of our main framework.


Thus, increasing resources spent on enforcement can have countervailing effects. In the short run, increasing enforcement resources can increase the number of prosecutions, in particular, under system strain where prosecution of cases is abstained from for budgetary reasons. However, increased resources can decrease corruption prosecutions, if perpetrator adjustment to higher enforcement is instantaneous (or such increases were pre-announced), if prosecutors have political ambitions, or if priorities change, either because reducing the marginal cost of investigating crimes trades off against prosecutions, the characteristics of referrals change, or if, in a reward system focused on conviction rates, prosecutors can find it optimal to forego prosecutions of complex cases with more uncertain outcomes and instead prosecute only cases (perhaps other than corruption cases) that can with reasonable certainty result in a prosecutorial victory.


A valuable next step is to push further the analysis of partisan forces. We lack detailed data before 1986, but our specification suggests that changes of partisanship across Presidential administrations alter prosecutorial effort. If, as in the previous section, we look again at cases referred and cases chosen for prosecution or declined we can see, in the case of the Clinton administration, that US Attorneys in 1993–94 filed slightly more corruption cases relative to 1991–92, but not nearly as many more as were referred. This revealed “effort” clearly declined relatively more in more liberal areas. In simple regressions (when the ratio of filings to referrals in 1993–94 is regressed on the 1991–92 ratio and ideology; results not shown), the interaction of ideology and lagged effort is negative and more than twice its SE. Of course, we also cannot reject the counterhypothesis that workload expanded faster than capacity to file charges, leading to the apparent decline in effort, consistent with the “system strain” results reported above. In the case of the recent Bush administration, prosecutorial effort appears politicized in the same way, though with a greater delay, probably as a result of post-9/11 activities. Also, any apparent ideological bias in the effort fades out in 2005–06, which maybe why some US Attorneys were subsequently fired! Further research using this data and other sources, though not easy, could determine the partisan affiliation of convicted officials in many cases, and biographical research could in principle even determine the partisanship of the President appointing the judge in each case.

Finally, how general are our results? Several things distinguish our sample from a broad cross-section of countries: higher incomes, the serious nature of the offenses (unlike the ubiquitous petty corruption reported elsewhere), and omnipresent enforcement, without which our model does not work. In the literature, there is more or less a consensus that democracy reduces corruption, especially when democracy is synonymous with other related variables, like freedom of the press and the rule of law. We see no obvious reason that, conditional on the presence of democracy or the rule of law which proxy for enforcement, other effects like those of government wages and inequality on corruption should not appear in a cross-national analysis. Finding out whether that is right is a challenge that remains before us.

WikiLeaks Sudbury
July 02, 2014


Alt, J.E., Lassen, D.D. (2014). Enforcement and Public Corruption: Evidence from the American States. The Journal of Law Economics and Organization, 30 (2): 306-338.

Related Documents

Enforcement and Public Corruption: Evidence from the American States.



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